Wonder Woman took in $39 million (or, to be precise, $38.8 million) at the U.S. box office on Friday, keeping the DC Extended Universe film on track for a $95 million domestic opening weekend. The Gal Gadot-headlined movie – the first female superhero-anchored tentpole released in the modern age of the superhero film genre – started its domestic box office run off with $11 million from Thursday preview screenings, after earning strong reviews from critics earlier in the week (as evidenced by Wonder Woman being “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes).
Director Patty Jenkins’ superhero movie is the fourth installment in the DCEU overall (following Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) and the first of two DCEU films scheduled for 2017, including this November’s Justice League – which Gadot will reprise her role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman for. As far as opening weekend competition goes, Wonder Woman is facing off against a very different sort of superhero movie at the box office: the animated Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, based on the popular Captain Underpants children’s book series.
Captain Underpants was also well-received by critics (case in point, see Screen Rant’s Captain Underpants review) and the $38 million project held its own against Wonder Woman, taking in $8 million at the U.S. box office on Friday. While that puts the animated film on-course to gross around $24 million total over the weekend (a very good start, given the film’s slim production budget), Wonder Woman could wind up making nearly four times as much over the same period of time. It no doubt helps that audiences are enjoying Wonder Woman too, with the movie receiving an A CinemaScore from general moviegoers.
The strong turnouts for both Wonder Woman and Captain Underpants ought to come as welcome news for movie studios, especially following on the heels of the lowest-grossing Memorial Weekend box office since 1999, just last month. Wheres the two new releases over the Memorial Day holiday frame (Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) both received middling-to-negative reviews at best, this week’s new arrivals were far better received overall, by comparison. Studios now have to hope that their other June 2017 film releases can keep that momentum going, following what was overall a lackluster box office turnout in May (the success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 aside).
As for Wonder Woman – while its domestic box office opening will be far lower than that for the last two DCEU films in particular (Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad), those movies were also far more divisive and wound up front-loaded at the box office, no doubt in part as a side effect. Wonder Woman ought to have better legs at the box office by comparison, thanks to its more universally-enthusiastic reception, and could even wind up with a domestic total that rivals that of its DCEU peers, when all is said and done. Either way that you cut it, Wonder Woman‘s win is a victory for the DCEU too.
Source: Box Office Reuters